Directed by Justin Simien (2015)
A fairly simple and (very) mildly enjoyable campus farce in which obsessions about race, and race relations, are taken to extremes by each and every student. The tony fictional college Winchester University exists in a college world inhabited by the modern student, where everyone, even the white frat doofuses, have become acculturated and even quite comfortable with a world of heavy-handed political correctness. The tyranny of small differences in culture rules all. Grievances that appear enormous on campus appear trivial outside of it.
I’m not sure my interpretation of the “message” of the film is exactly how Simien intended it, but I can’t be too far off, because almost no one comes out clean in this one, except for perhaps the giant-Afro’ed gay journalist played by Tyler James Williams who serves as the quiet, all-seeing moral conscience of the film, and who quite rightly erupts when the white students, in a weird and tone-deaf play for relevance on a ultra-politicized campus, hold a “surprise” blackface party in protest.
There’s not much comedy, no great acting, not much to learn, nor any great dramatic pathos – just a film that’s good enough to stream on a Tuesday night, and not grating enough to turn off midway.